Maricopa Community Colleges to limit hours of some temporary workers and adjunct instructors

April 23, 2013

About 1,300 temporary workers and part-time instructors with the Maricopa County Community College District have learned their hours will be strictly limited starting in July. Officials said the cuts will help the district comply with the Obama Administration’s Health Care Reform Act.

Maricopa Community Colleges officials said temporary employees will see their hours limited to an average of 25 hours a week while adjunct faculty members will be capped at 30 hours each week.

District spokesman Tom Gariepy said without the cap, the district would have to spend an additional $13 million to provide insurance to the temporary employees under the health care reform law. He said the district wants to help employees affected by the change.

“What we’re doing is we’re trying to be as flexible as we can by allowing the employees flexible time during their time here between now and July if they need time to find additional work or if they need to find other employment," Gariepy said. "We want to make that convenient as possible for them to do.”    

Lysia Hand is president of the Maricopa Colleges Adjunct Faculty Association. She acknowledged the caps will be a hardship for employees but she said her group is joining the district to create more full-time jobs for part-time workers. 

“If we do this right it will be a win for both the district as well as for the adjunct faculty," Hand said.

Roman Ulman is with the labor union American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Arizona.  He said he is angered by the move by the college district and said it is symptomatic of how many large employers will use the health care program to cut their costs.

“I call that the Wal-Mart gambit because what they do is they take an employee and they work them to the limit which might be 35 and a half hours so they don’t have to pay them any health care and that’s not America," Ulman said.

The district said providing the 1,300 employees with health insurance would hike expenses for students and would take money away from student services.

KJZZ is licensed to Rio Salado College, a part of the Maricopa Community Colleges.